This year has been a really weird time for the aviation and travel industry. With the travel restrictions in place for many countries, many airlines had to ground most or all of their planes in their fleet. This is bad news, especially for plane enthusiasts, who long for the experience of flying again.
One way that they can somewhat relive this experience is through aviation-themed restaurants and hotels around the world! Sadly, most of the restaurants are not halal but here are some of the most interesting aviation restaurants and hotels from around the world for us to adore and maybe even book a hotel visit if we are in that country.
Some of the restaurants are not halal but are covered just to show the idea and novelty of the whole experience.
Image Credit: Dreamliner Airways Cafe on Facebook
The aviation theme that it has is already special, add to that that it is one of the only ones that are halal making it truly unique. Finally, something that we can try! Located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, this restaurant lets diners experience the joys of flying. With great attention to detail, the cafe’s decor is modeled after the interior of a commercial jet equipped with windows and airline seats. Even the staff there don on flight attendant uniforms to give you that extra level of immersion.
The only different thing about the cafe and flying for real is the food that they serve. Which is really not a bad thing to leave out of flying for real, a stark contrast of the beloved microwaved airline food. The cafe serves a range of Western and Asian cuisine with generous portions, great for the hungry “traveler”. As halal aviation-themed restaurants go, Dreamliner Airways Cafe is definitely something that is really unique.
This Cafe is Halal as of the time of writing.
Location: The Dreamliner Airways Cafe, No. 7, Jalan Harmonium 35/1, Taman Desa Tebrau, Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 11 AM - 11 PM (Daily)
Image Credit: Sam Chui
Thai Airways have been making airwaves recently with the launch of their plane-themed restaurant. Located in Bangkok, Thailand, the Thai Airways Restaurant was set up to capture and recreate the authentic inflight experience for the visitors to their restaurant, with airline seats, decor, and of course the plane food. It’s like flying with Thai Airways but without leaving the ground.
The airline takes the experience of the guests seriously as diners will have to ascend the Passenger boarding stair truck (that truck with stairs that you use to get into the plane sometimes) to enter the restaurant, which will surely help the guests immerse themselves in the experience. To top it all off, guests will be gifted a boarding pass when they leave as a souvenir for their visit.
Sadly the restaurant is not halal at the time of writing.
Image Credit: First Airlines
Speaking of immersion, this listing takes it to the next level. Your mind will be tricked into thinking that you are actually flying over distant lands, in first class too! Operating in Japan from 2016 onwards, this Virtual Reality flight experience brings visitors around the globe on virtual tours of different countries without even leaving the ground. Decked with first-class flight seats and a commercial plane interior decor, even the staff are dressed like actual flight attendants. If you are interested in the “plane”, it is modeled after the Airbus A310. The food and fake window scenery will change based on where the virtual reality tour is held at. Countries including New York, Paris, and Rome are just some of the countries that they offer. A really interesting take on aviation with the help of cutting-edge technology.
The restaurant is not halal at the time of writing.
Image Credit: Runway 34 Restaurant
If you are more of a propeller kind of person, then Runway 34 will excite you. Located near Zurich Airport, Switzerland is unlike anything from the previous listings. This place not only has the looks and feel of a plane but Runway 34 also has the whole plane, the real deal. Parked in the middle of the hangar, the plane sits as a centerpiece for the restaurants where diners can choose to have their meals inside or outside the cabin. The plane in question is a retired Ilyushin Il-14, a twin-engined commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft from the 1950s. The plane really does help the restaurant pull off the retro 1950s look well.
The restaurant is not Halal at the time of writing.
Hotels that you have to see to believe it!
Image Credit: Jumbostay
This has to be the closest thing you can get from bringing your mattress into the airplane cabin to sleep in! Located in Stockholm, Sweden, this repurposed jumbo jet literally lets you stay in the cabin of a retired Boeing 747. Space are aplenty too with the 747’s huge cabin space, there are several dorms and rooms. It is even equipped with a luxury suite in the cockpit!
Image Credit: Booking.com
Another entry to this list of Aviation hotels is the Vliegtuigsuite Teuge in Teuge, Netherlands. This retired Ilyushin 18 is now a single elongated suite that lets you experience owning the whole plane all to yourself. The airplane is big enough for a bedroom area, a kitchenette, and a jacuzzi among other things. All the luxury without any turbulence!
Image Credit: Uniq Hotels
Ever wondered what would happen if a plane got stuck in a tree? They get turned into a hotel suite of course! Somewhere in the Costa Rican Jungle lies a salvaged Boeing 727 up in the trees. The painstaking process of placing it up there looks to be very worth it though, as it is safe to say that this is one extraordinary hotel!
What makes it more interesting is that the interior decor is predominantly made of wood. From the furniture to the wall, the amount of wood is definitely something you would think of first when you see a salvaged airplane.
There you have it some of the different places that offer you the flying experience without even leaving the ground. Frequent travelers and plane enthusiasts can now at least reminisce the days where we were all free to fly around. Maybe with the current border situations still looking to be very uncertain in may parts of the world, more airlines can follow the examples of these places, who knows our next staycations and meals might even be in the cabin of a once flying commercial airliner!